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Pelican Glided

(66 views)
by Bryan Costales

A pelican glided overhead, following the tour boat as it made is way up the estuary.

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The Sign

(64 views)
by Bryan Costales

The sign for the Provence Dining Room was mounted on the door next to a fire alarm. The sign read, "Provence Dining Room." The shape in the middle of the sign was the outline of the county of France.

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Avocet non-breeding plumage

(63 views)
by Terry Costales

This photo was taken late March of this year and many birds were still in just black and white. For courting and breeding the necks and chest acquire a rusty or tan color. They really seem to enjoy their mud-flats.

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Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

(63 views)
by Terry Costales

Taken late March, this bird is probably a year or two old and has the yellow legs you see on both juveniles and non breeding adults. They get their full adult plumage in the third year. If you look at this shot and the thumbnail below it, you can see they are roughly the same size and shape. Nice of them to pose for their comparison shots.

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Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii)

(62 views)
by Terry Costales

The Bullock's Oriole is the western version of the Baltimore Oriole which is found east of the Rockies. This photo was taken late May and what a great pose he gave me.

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Mr and Mrs Dieter Welte

(62 views)
by Terry Costales

I know this should be the Animalblog, but my only son, Dieter, got married this Sunday! Here is Dieter with his beautiful wife, Lizzy. My Congratulations and Best Wishes to them both.

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Harbor Seal

(61 views)
by Terry Costales

This photo of a Harbor Seal was taken very near the Lucy Evans Interpretive Center at the bird sanctuary. I was very surprised to see it but the ranger verified that they have been known to occasionally appear.

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Weezy the Rooster

(61 views)
by Terry Costales

Weezie was supposed to be a hen. He was picked at random out of bin of Barred Plymouth Rock chicks, 90% guaranteed to be female. As you can see Weezie turned out to not be female. He grew up to terrorize the dogs, kids and even me. He would approach to see what goodies I might have then, even when indulging, he would forget he was glad to see me and sneak in a few vicious kicks. Now that I'm in San Francisco with no chickens, I don't miss him at all. Not one little bit.

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European Starling (sturnus vulgaris)

(61 views)
by Terry Costales

Finally a European starling where it belongs: in Europe. I have observed large flocks of Starlings since I was a kid. Sometimes I've seen enormous groups making, what I like to call, "flock circles" in the sky. When they do this it's very unnerving. The first time I saw this phenomenon it was in the skies over San Francisco about 15 years ago. I thought perhaps the birds could sense an impending disaster, perhaps an earthquake. If so, what was I doing in SAN FRANCISCO? Home of the big one that . . .

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Bongo

(61 views)
by Terry Costales

It was difficult to get a shot through the fence of the Bongo. This close-up was the only one that turned out well enough to post.

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Horses at dawn

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

Backlit at dawn, two horses in the Northwest are a calm and beautiful sight. Almost everything looks better when the light is special.

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French Donkeys

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

Just west of the Louvre are wonderful gardens called Jardin des Tuileries. The gardens contain outdoor cafes, fountains, scattered statuary, chestnut trees, formal flower beds and trimmed hedges. But, to my surprise, there was also a children's playground, carousel and pony and donkey rides. The photo above is of one of the donkeys, or âne in French.

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Reindeer

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

The quintessential Christmas animal.

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Canada Goose and Goslings

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

This is a real Mother Goose watching over a few of her very large brood. Mother Goose as a person in literature has been around for a very long time. There is even a Mother Goose Society and did you know May 1st is Mother Goose Day? I wonder who you send cards to? More info can be found about real Canada Geese at Wikipedia.

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Peafowl

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

This female peafowl, called a peahen, was well camouflaged. She was just off the paved path and dozens of people passed within two feet of her and never realized she was there. I noticed her because I was looking for local birds while admiring the captive inhabitants. Just as at many zoos, peafowl are set loose to wander the grounds as they wish.

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Tiger

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

To me the tiger is the most awe inspiring animal I have ever seen. So majestic and powerful I could watch them forever, but in zoos they don't tend to do much whenever I'm around.

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Canada Geese in a California Sky

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

When Canada Geese trumpet their arrival while flying directly overhead, no-one could possibly pass up the opportunity to photograph them.

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Cliff Swallow in Flight (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

This picture was taken just after the swallow had gathered a mouthful of mud to add to its nest. It plainly shows the tail shape that helps to distinguish it from the Barn Swallow. This is the kind of swallow that returns each year from Goya, Argentina to the San Juan Capistrano mission each March.

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Cliff Swallows Gathering Mud

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

These two swallows were among dozens gathering mud on the bank of an inlet close to their colony. They landed and scooped up mud with their wings held high and fluttering. Once they got a good beakful they zipped back to their nests. This group established themselves under the eaves of the Interpretive Center located in the Palo Alto Baylands Preserve.

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Nesting Snowy Egret with young

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

This picture was taken in late May. There were mother egrets in the colony still sitting on eggs while others, like the one above, were taking care of their small chicks. Many mother egrets were feeding larger chicks. Many larger fledglings were out on the branches but not yet flying. Quite an advance in procreation from my visit a month earlier.

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Avocet in breeding plumage (Recurvirostra americana)

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

This view shows the extent of the buff coloring avocets acquire on neck and chest in the breeding season. They stand about 15 to 20 inches tall and Wikipedia has more info on these birds if you're interested.

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Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii)

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

Here is the Oriole perched on a barbeque grill in the picnic area. He and several blackbirds had just chased a crow that dared to enter their territory. Crows are a threat to them because they will eat the young of these smaller birds. There are several species of birds found at the sanctuary. There are sparrows , blackbirds and crows , and many other perching birds .

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Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

Taken August 23rd, this is a Grey Heron hunting for food in a Dublin canal. This bird is a year round resident throughout England and Ireland. But I didn't expect one to be found downtown! Fifteen feet above this heron was the morning commute rushing over a bridge! I also saw one other Grey Heron in Hyde Park, London in April of this year.

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Great Egret and Pheasant

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

I didn't see a pheasant when I looked at this tree, only the Egret. As the boat drew nearer to the tree the pheasant burst out, startling the egret and me. I tried to get a shot of them as they flew past, but I was much too slow. It wasn't until I looked at the photos at home that I had the pleasure to see I had gotten a shot of the pheasant after all.

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American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

(60 views)
by Terry Costales

Yesterday I thought these birds might be Australian Pelicans but with further research I found they are American White Pelicans in non-breeding plumage. I'm glad that's settled.

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